HomeUncategorizedThe Story Behind Violent Femmes' "Blister in the Sun": Podcast

The Story Behind Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun”: Podcast

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When it comes to truly ahead-of-their-time jams, few songs can hold a candle to the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.” The alt-rock, proto-folk-punk tune still sounds so fresh — despite being frequently misinterpreted — that it’s hard to believe it’s over 40 years old. On this episode of The Story Behind the Song, vocalist Gordon Gano explores the origins of the classic cut, revealing how it almost wasn’t a Violent Femmes song at all.

“I had been to a poetry reading and exchanged a number with a woman who was there. She called me and said that she was going to put a band together, and she wanted it to be like the Plasmatics,” he recalls. “Then I thought, ‘Well, it would be nice if I could offer a song for her to sing…’ and that was ‘Blister in the Sun.’ I got a phone call saying it was cancelled the next day, and then never heard [from] or saw her again.”

And thus, the song stayed with Gano and the Violent Femmes — and thank god for that. “Blister in the Sun,” with its undeniable acoustic riff and in-your-face attitude, would go on to define the ethos of the band, so much so that it’s hard to imagine the song coming from anyone else. It’s Gano and the band through-and-through — and to that point, he’d like to clear the air when it comes to certain interpretations of the song’s lyrics.

“I was speaking with somebody once, who I had kind of met randomly, and who was also a musician, and they started saying how much they loved ‘Blister in the Sun,’” Gano says. “And he kept saying ‘And, you know what it’s about; everybody knows what it’s about.’ And I’m like, ‘Tell me!’ And he said, ‘Masturbation.’ And that was the first time I had ever heard that. And the song had been out for 15 years!”

Get Violent Femmes Tickets Here

Listen to Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano tell these “Blister in the Sun” stories and more via the player above, or on your favorite podcast platform. You can also watch a clip of the interview above, or via YouTube. Make sure to follow The Story Behind the Song for all the fresh and archival episodes coming in Season 2, and rate and review on Apple Podcasts to show your support for our series.

Also, make sure to check out the new TSBTS merch — including a killer poster and jigsaw puzzle — available now at the Consequence Shop or via  the buy now buttons below! You can also snag the 40th anniversary deluxe box set re-issue of Violent Femmes, which opens with “Blister in the Sun,” here.

You can also follow host Peter Csathy on Threads at @pcsathy and at Deep Cuts Media, and keep up with the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our shows.

Buy Now from Consequence Shop

Buy Now from Consequence Shop

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